The Monastery Today

After the enthronement of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III in 1971, he dispatched His Grace Bishop Agathon as a special envoy to the monastery in 1972 to administer the monastery. It became a transitional point in the life of the monastery. His innovative administration added modernity, organization, and new breed of young novices. Thus, the reputation of the monastery became known and many young enthusiastic men were attracted to the life of the monastery and monasticism.One of these novices was a very enthusiastic young man who also had a great zeal for his Coptic church. He was ordained a monk in 1974 by H.G. Bishop Agathon and assigned the name Pishoy Almoharaqy. Because of his great talents and wit he was elevated to the rank of priest and became the vicar of the monastery in 1975. After proving himself in that post he was elevated to the post of country bishop (a rank of assistant bishop.) Because he captured the admiration of the monks, they recommended that he be elevated to the full rank of bishop. And thus he was consecrated a bishop  and became the abbot of the monastery in 1985. He was assigned the name: H.G. Bishop Severs. Since his elevation to the rank of bishop the monastery experienced a great surge forward. Many accomplishments were undertaken. We could only petition the good Lord and savior to keep him for a long and peaceful tenure. And we also request of our holy St. Mary who is the patron saint of the monastery along with the angels, and holy saints to bestow their blessings and love upon this good shepherd, H.G. Bishop Severs. In addition, may we petition our good Lord to forgive our sins .



Jesus Christ's flight to Egypt has always been one of the most important events throughout history, which the Holy Ghost's inspiration mentioned in chapter two of the Gospel according to Matthew. The incarnate God so as to intend this event be a witness to the greatness of His Divine arrangement. More


Abyssinia (Ethiopia) is an ancient nation. It was called Kush and it had distinguished civilization amongst the ancient world. The ancient Abyssinian (Ethiopian) heritage tells that when the Queen of Sheba (who reigned over Yemen and Abyssinia) heard of Solomon's wisdom, she went to see him. She was astounded by his great wisdom, and consequently converted to Judaism which she later spread in her country after marrying Solomon. More


Manuscripts represent all what is hand-written whether on papyrus or on parchments made of deerskin, as was the case in ancient times, and all what was written on paper later with the exception of what was engraved on stone or on any other solid material. Papyrus was still used till roughly 9th. and 10th. centuries. Parchments replaced papyrus, as they were more durable for weather effects.

The Copts knew well how to make this kind of parchments. Very thin layers of deerskin were removed and soaked in salty solution then dried to be suitable for writing. This type of parchment was still used till 13th. Century when writing materials developed into paper made of linen. Then linen was replaced by wood till it reached what we know now.




For a long time the place has been well known as "Virgin Mary monastery". It has also been reputed as "Muharraq Monastery", and "Mount Koskam Monastery". The monastery got its name "Al- Muharrq" from the derivatives of the Arabic verb "ha-ra-ka" (Arabic past verb) - means "burn" in English - where "Muhrraq"/"burnt" is the passive participle, while "Muhrraq"/"burning" is the active participle. The monastery neighbourhood was a place for gathering and burning herbs and weeds. So the whole region was called "The Burning or Burnt Area" In time the monastery was denominated with " Al- Muharraq". The "El or Al" is the Arabic definite article "The". While "Al Muharraq" is an Arabic word, "Koskam" is an ancient Egyptian name dating back to pharos age. The word consists of two syllabuses "Kos" and "Kam". "Kos" was a name of a city - non-existent now - which was the capital of the fourteenth district. Upper Egypt was divided into 22 districts. Nothing remains of the city or the district except the "Berba" or the "Temple". The word "Berba" has two meanings, religious and civil. The religious meaning is "the highest place". The civil meaning is "burial" or "mummifying and wrapping the body in linen for burial". The second syllable of "koskam" that is "kam" was associated with the area to the west of the fourteenth district. The religious meaning of the word is "the limitlessness/endlessness or forever". The civil meaning - according to the historian Abu Al-muharraq - is "burial place in reeds for the paupers". Because "kos" and "Kam" are near together and neighboring, the area and the mountain are called "Koskam" that is whence the monastery has got its name.

Copyright 2007 ALmuharraq | By : Peter Malak